Synopses & Reviews
“This is the most brilliant epitome of Manhattan ever written.” —Mike Davis
Every morning, the architect and writer Michael Sorkin walks from his apartment in Greenwich Village to his office in Tribeca. Unlike most commuters, Sorkin isnt in a hurry, and he doesnt try to drown out his surroundings. Instead, hes always paying attention.
As he descends the narrow stairs of his town house, Sorkin explains why New York doesnt have the grand stairwells so common in European apartment buildings. Stepping out onto his block, he imagines a better, more efficient, far less dirty way to dispose of garbage. As he crosses Canal Street, he remembers the mad proposals for tunnels, elevated highways, and mega-structures that threatened lower Manhattan and could have destroyed its urban fabric.
Fifty years after Jane Jacobss groundbreaking The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Sorkins vision of city life is every bit as perceptive and fine-grained as that of Jacobss classic. With important insights into history, architecture, and public policy, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan is an extraordinary, deeply personal look at a city undergoing—always undergoing—dramatic transformations.
Every morning, the architect and writer Michael Sorkin walks downtown from his Greenwich Village apartment through Washington Square to his Tribeca office. Sorkin isnt in a hurry, and he never ignores his surroundings. Instead, he pays careful, close attention. And in Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, he explains what he sees, what he imagines, what he knows—giving us extraordinary access to the layers of history, the feats of engineering and artistry, and the intense social drama that take place along a simple twenty-minute walk.
About the Author
Michael Sorkin is an architect and urban planner, and the author and editor of many books, including All Over the Map, Against the Wall, Exquisite Corpse, and Variations on a Theme Park (Hill and Wang, 1992). He lives in New York City.